Over 50 percent of Alabama experiencing extreme drought conditions

U.S. Drought Monitor for November 8, 2016.

U.S. Drought Monitor information for the Southeast as of November 8, 2016.

The warm, dry trend continues through the first half of November, and unfortunately that means that the drought situation continues to get worse.

As of Tuesday, November 8, 18.35 percent of Alabama is experiencing exceptional drought, which is considered the most intense drought category. This is up nearly 3.5 percent compared to the previous week, according to the United States Drought Monitor.

More than 50 percent of the state (51.19 percent) is experiencing extreme drought conditions. While there is no change this week compared to last week in this drought category, this is a huge jump compared to 3 months ago, when only 2.29 percent of the state was experiencing extreme drought conditions.

Tennessee Valley Drought Monitor as of November 8, 2016.

Tennessee Valley Drought Monitor as of November 8, 2016.

Below is the latest update from the National Weather Service in Huntsville.

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE AL
418 PM CST THU NOV 10 2016

…DRY WEATHER CONTINUES AND DROUGHT CONDITIONS DETERIORATE
SLIGHTLY…

SYNOPSIS…
ACCORDING TO THE DROUGHT MONITOR VALID TUESDAY…NOVEMBER 8TH
2016…EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT /D4/ CONDITIONS REMAINED ACROSS MUCH OF
CENTRAL AND EASTERN JACKSON COUNTY AND ABOUT THE NORTHERN QUARTER OF
DEKALB COUNTY. THE SOUTHERN HALF OF MARSHALL COUNTY IS ALSO INCLUDED
IN D4. THIS WEEK…D4 DROUGHT CONDITIONS WERE EXPANDED TO INCLUDE
FAR EASTERN PORTIONS OF CULLMAN COUNTY. SEVERE DROUGHT /D2/
CONDITIONS EXPANDED IN FAR NORTHWESTERN ALABAMA AND IN MOORE COUNTY
TENNESSEE. OTHERWISE…DROUGHT CONDITIONS REMAIN UNCHANGED SINCE
LAST WEEK.

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS…
STATE AND LOCAL DECLARATIONS: THE ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC AND
COMMUNITY AFFAIRS (ADECA) OFFICE OF WATER RESOURCES HAS NOW PLACED
ALL ALABAMA COUNTIES IN THE HUNTSVILLE COUNTY WARNING AND FORECAST
AREA IN A `DROUGHT EMERGENCY`. THIS LEVEL OF DECLARATION WILL BE
ISSUED WHEN MOISTURE INDICATORS ARE NEAR THE LOWEST TWO PERCENT OF
RECORDED HISTORICAL CONDITIONS AND APPROACHING OR ACHIEVING RECORD
DRY LEVELS.

AGRICULTURAL IMPACTS: THE LATEST CROP AND PROGRESS CONDITION REPORT
FROM THE USDA NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS SERVICE DID NOT
CONTAIN ANY REPORTS FROM NORTHERN ALABAMA. HOWEVER…IN THE REPORT
FROM OCTOBER 31ST…THE FARM SERVICE AGENCY (FSA) FROM MADISON
COUNTY REPORTED THAT FALL PLANTING HAD STOPPED UNTIL SOME RAINFALL
OCCURS. AT THE MOMENT…THE GROUND IS TOO HARD FOR FALL PLANTING.

IN TENNESSEE…THE FSA IN MOORE COUNTY REPORTS THAT CATTLE ARE OUT OF
WATER AND MOST PEOPLE ARE FEEDING HAY. THE FSA IN FRANKLIN COUNTY
REPORTED VERY WARM AND DRY CONDITIONS AND THAT SOME PRODUCERS ARE
DEBATING WHETHER OR NOT TO PLANT WHEAT. THE WHEAT THAT HAS BEEN
PLANTED BY OTHERS HAS HAD SPORADIC GERMINATION. THE FSA ALSO REPORTS
THAT PASTURES ARE GONE…PRODUCERS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT HAY STOCKS AND
WATER AND SOME ARE HAULING OR BUYING WATER.

COUNTIES IN EXTREME DROUGHT /D3/ FOR ANY PORTION OF TIME
AUTOMATICALLY QUALIFY FOR U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (USDA)
PRIMARY NATURAL DISASTER STATUS. AS OF OCTOBER 26TH…THE USDA HAD
OFFICIALLY DESIGNATED ALL OF THE COUNTIES IN THE HUNTSVILLE COUNTY
WARNING AND FORECAST AREA AS PRIMARY NATURAL DISASTER AREAS DUE TO
DAMAGES AND LOSSES CAUSED BY THE RECENT DROUGHT. THIS INCLUDES THE
COUNTIES OF COLBERT…CULLMAN…DEKALB…FRANKLIN (AL)…FRANKLIN
(TN)…JACKSON…LAUDERDALE…LINCOLN…MADISON…MARSHALL…MOORE…
MORGAN…LAWRENCE…AND LIMESTONE.

FIRE DANGER IMPACTS:
EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 12TH…A DROUGHT EMERGENCY DECLARATION WAS SIGNED
BY THE GOVERNOR OF ALABAMA DUE TO THE EXTREMELY DRY CONDITIONS IN
PLACE. THIS DECLARATION PROHIBITS ALL OUTDOOR BURNING FOR 46 COUNTIES
IN NORTHERN AND CENTRAL ALABAMA (INCLUDING ALL 11 NORTHERN ALABAMA
COUNTIES IN THE WFO HUNTSVILLE COUNTY WARNING AREA).

ON NOVEMBER 7TH…THE `NO BURN` ORDER WAS EXPANDED TO INCLUDE ALL
COUNTIES IN THE STATE OF ALABAMA.

FOR THE YEAR TO DATE…2965 FIRES HAVE OCCURRED ACROSS THE STATE OF
ALABAMA…CHARRING APPROXIMATELY 38,828 ACRES. OF THOSE…1134 FIRES
HAVE OCCURRED IN THE LAST 30 DAYS…BURNING ABOUT 12,296 ACRES. HERE
IS A BREAKDOWN OF FIRES BY COUNTY SINCE JANUARY 1ST /AND THE ACREAGE
BURNED AS A RESULT/:

COUNTY NAME…YTD FIRES/ACRES BURNED…LAST 30 DAYS…..LAST 7 DAYS
COLBERT…….43/265……………….19/31 ACRES……7/1.8 ACRES
CULLMAN…….49/1169………………13/151 ACRES…..0/0 ACRES
DEKALB……..271/2018……………..100/464 ACRES….13/322 ACRES
FRANKLIN……25/181……………….5/18 ACRES…….1/0 ACRES
JACKSON…….73/508……………….29/200 ACRES…..8/27 ACRES
LAUDERDALE….30/182……………….24/133 ACRES…..6/9 ACRES
LAWRENCE……38/554……………….16/271 ACRES…..5/140 ACRES
LIMESTONE…..35/386……………….17/18 ACRES……3/3 ACRES
MADISON…….12/42………………..3/13 ACRES…….2/12 ACRES
MARSHALL……59/303……………….23/123 ACRES…..5/14 ACRES
MORGAN……..42/258……………….23/26 ACRES……11/7 ACRES

THESE DATA ARE PROVIDED BY THE ALABAMA FORESTRY COMMISSION AND ARE
UPDATED DAILY ON THEIR WEBSITE (PROVIDED AT THE END OF THIS
STATEMENT). THESE DATA ARE ONLY VALID ON THE DAY THAT THE DROUGHT
STATEMENT IS ISSUED. PLEASE REFER TO THEIR WEBSITE FOR THE MOST
RECENT FIRE INFORMATION.

PER THE TENNESSEE DIVISION OF FORESTRY…A BURN PERMIT IS CURRENTLY
REQUIRED TO CONDUCT ANY OUTDOOR OPEN BURNING OF DEBRIS. CITIZENS ARE
REQUIRED TO OBTAIN BURN PERMITS AND FOLLOW OUTDOOR BURNING SAFETY
RECOMMENDATIONS. PEOPLE CONDUCTING OUTDOOR BURNING ARE ALSO URGED TO
CHECK FOR ANY LOCAL RESTRICTIONS PRIOR TO CONDUCTING BURNING
ACTIVITY. CITIZENS MAY OBTAIN BURN PERMITS BY GOING TO
WWW.BURNSAFETN.ORG.

THE KEETCH-BYRAM DROUGHT INDEX (KBDI) AVAILABLE FROM THE U.S. FOREST
SERVICE WILDLAND FIRE ASSESSMENT SYSTEM INDICATES VALUES IN EXCESS
OF 700 ACROSS NEARLY ALL OF NORTHERN ALABAMA…WITH VALUES AROUND
600 TO 700 ACROSS MUCH OF SOUTHERN MIDDLE TENNESSEE. KBDI VALUES IN
EXCESS OF 600 ARE OFTEN ASSOCIATED WITH MORE SEVERE DROUGHT
CONDITIONS AND WITH INCREASED WILDFIRE OCCURRENCE.

WATER RESTRICTIONS: /NO CHANGE FROM NOV 3RD 2016 ISSUANCE/
WATER AND UTILITIES SYSTEMS IN CULLMAN CITY HAVE NOW ENTERED PHASE
II OF THEIR WATER CONSERVATION PROGRAM SINCE WATER LEVELS ON LAKE
CATOMA ARE NOW 15 FEET BELOW NORMAL. BUSINESSES AND FARMERS WILL
STILL BE ALLOWED TO OPERATE NORMALLY AT THIS TIME…BUT THE MAYOR`S
OFFICE IN CULLMAN IS URGING EVERYONE TO FIND WAYS TO CONSERVE WATER
DURING THE ONGOING DROUGHT. ELSEWHERE IN CULLMAN COUNTY…COUNTY
OFFICIALS ARE REQUESTING VOLUNTARY WATER CONSERVATION FROM CITIZENS
DUE TO THE DROUGHT.

OTHER IMPACTS: /NO CHANGE FROM NOV 3RD 2016 ISSUANCE/
LOCAL NEWS HAS REPORTED THAT MANY HOME FOUNDATION REPAIR BUSINESSES
IN NORTHERN ALABAMA WERE BUSY BECAUSE DRY CONDITIONS HAVE CAUSED
LARGE CRACKS AND OTHER DAMAGE TO HOME FOUNDATIONS. ALSO…COUNTY
OFFICIALS ESPECIALLY IN NORTHWESTERN ALABAMA ARE REPORTING THAT LARGE
NUMBERS OF CRACKS ARE APPEARING ON ROADWAYS DUE TO THE DROUGHT. THIS
INCLUDES PORTIONS OF THE NATCHEZ TRACE PARKWAY IN NORTHWESTERN
ALABAMA AND ADJACENT AREAS.

CLIMATE SUMMARY…
LIGHT SHOWERS OCCURRED ON THE 3RD AS A WEAK COLD FRONT PUSHED ACROSS
THE AREA. RAINFALL AMOUNTS WERE VERY LIGHT…GENERALLY AROUND A TENTH
OF AN INCH OR LESS FOR LOCATIONS MAINLY WEST OF INTERSTATE 65. A FEW
SPOTS IN NORTHWESTERN ALABAMA RECEIVED THE MOST RAINFALL…WITH
ANDERSON /EASTERN LAUDERDALE COUNTY/ RECEIVING THE HIGHEST AMOUNT OF
0.17″ WITH THE FRONTAL PASSAGE. LOCATIONS IN NORTHEASTERN ALABAMA
/WHICH DESPERATELY NEED THE RAINFALL/ REMAINED DRY ONCE
AGAIN…FURTHER EXACERBATING DROUGHT CONDITIONS THERE.

ASIDE FROM THOSE LIGHT RAINFALL AMOUNTS…DRY CONDITIONS PREVAILED
OVER THE PAST 7 DAYS. RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURES OCCURRED DURING THE
FIRST FEW DAYS OF NOVEMBER…INCLUDING THE WARMEST TEMPERATURES EVER
RECORDED IN THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER AT MANY LOCATIONS IN THE AREA ON
THE 1ST. COOLER AIRMASSES BEGIN SHIFTING INTO THE AREA ON THE 4TH AND
TEMPERATURES HAVE COOLED A LITTLE SINCE. HOWEVER…TEMPERATURES HAVE
REMAINED ABOVE NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR.

FROM SPRING THROUGH EARLY FALL…/MARCH THROUGH EARLY NOVEMBER/…
TEMPERATURES HAVE AVERAGED WELL ABOVE NORMAL…WHICH HAS HELPED LEAD
TO THE DEVELOPMENT AND SUSTENANCE OF DROUGHT CONDITIONS. FROM MARCH
1ST THROUGH NOVEMBER 9TH…AT HUNTSVILLE…MUSCLE SHOALS AND
SCOTTSBORO…THIS PERIOD RANKS AS THE WARMEST ON RECORD. SINCE THE
START OF THE YEAR…THIS NOW RANKS AS THE WARMEST YEAR TO DATE FOR
BOTH HUNTSVILLE AND MUSCLE SHOALS…AND THIRD WARMEST AT SCOTTSBORO.

MOST LOCATIONS ARE AROUND THREE TO FOUR INCHES OF RAINFALL BELOW
NORMAL FOR THE LAST 30 DAYS. OVER THE LAST THREE MONTH…MANY
LOCATIONS ARE MORE THAN EIGHT INCHES OF RAINFALL BELOW NORMAL…AND
OVER THE LAST SIX MONTHS (180 DAYS)…MANY LOCATIONS IN NORTH
CENTRAL AND NORTHEASTERN ALABAMA ARE MORE THAN 12 INCHES BELOW
NORMAL. NEAR THE HEART OF THE WORST DROUGHT CONDITONS…AT
SCOTTSBORO…THE PRECIPITATION DEFICIT OVER THE LAST THREE MONTHS IS
8.44 INCHES AND OVER THE LAST SIX MONTHS IS 14.27 INCHES. THE
PRECIPITATION DEFICIT FOR THE YEAR IS 17.27 INCHES.

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK…
TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED TO AVERAGE CLOSER TO NORMAL OVER THE NEXT
WEEK…BUT CHANCES FOR PRECIPITATION ARE STILL VERY SMALL. THE
FORECAST CONTAINS SMALL CHANCES FOR LIGHT RAIN ON MONDAY NIGHT AND
TUESDAY. IN GENERAL…LITTLE TO NO RAINFALL IS EXPECTED FOR THE NEXT
WEEK.

THE OUTLOOK FOR WEEK TWO /NOV 18TH – NOV 24TH/ FROM THE CLIMATE
PREDICTION CENTER STRONGLY FAVORS ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND
SLIGHTLY FAVORS BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION.

THE LATEST SEASONAL OUTLOOK FOR THE WINTER PERIOD (DECEMBER THROUGH
FEBRUARY) FAVORS ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES FOR THE REGION.
HOWEVER…EQUAL CHANCES EXIST FOR BELOW…NEAR OR ABOVE NORMAL
PRECIPITATION. TYPICALLY DURING LA NINA WINTERS…DRIER THAN NORMAL
CONDITIONS ARE PREVALENT IN THE GULF COAST REGION AND ABOVE NORMAL
PRECIPITATION IS FAVORED FOR PARTS OF THE OHIO VALLEY AND THE
MIDWEST. IN BETWEEN THESE REGIONS IN THE TENNESSEE VALLEY…RESULTS
ARE OFTEN MIXED…WITH SOME WINTERS EXPERIENCING WETTER THAN NORMAL
CONDITIONS AND OTHERS EXPERIENCING DRIER THAN NORMAL CONDITIONS. THE
LATEST SEASONAL DROUGHT OUTLOOK VALID FROM OCTOBER 20TH TO JANUARY
31ST INDICATES THAT DROUGHT IS LIKELY TO PERSIST ACROSS THE REGION
THROUGH THE PERIOD. THIS INCLUDES ALL OF NORTHERN ALABAMA AND
ADJACENT AREAS OF SOUTHERN MIDDLE TENNESSEE.

HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK…
RIVER AND CREEK STREAMFLOWS HAVE GENERALLY REMAINED STEADY OR
DETERIORATED OVER THE PAST SEVEN DAYS. FOLLOWING ARE SEVEN-DAY
AVERAGE STREAMFLOW RANKING PERCENTILES FOR SITES WITH VERY LOW
STREAMFLOWS FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR:

SIPSEY FORK NEAR GRAYSON: 1ST PERCENTILE
PAINT ROCK RIVER AT WOODVILLE: 2ND PERCENTILE
BIG NANCE CREEK AT COURTLAND: 3RD PERCENTILE
LIMESTONE CREEK NEAR ATHENS: 3RD PERCENTILE
SHOAL CREEK AT IRON CITY TENNESSEE: 3RD PERCENTILE
CYPRESS CREEK NEAR FLORENCE: 4TH PERCENTILE
ELK RIVER AT PROSPECT TENNESSEE: 5TH PERCENTILE
BIG WILLS CREEK AT FORT PAYNE: 15TH PERCENTILE
FLINT RIVER NEAR BROWNSBORO: 12TH PERCENTILE

LAKE AND RIVER LEVELS ALONG THE HEAVILY REGULATED TENNESSEE RIVER
SYSTEM HAVE LARGELY BEEN UNAFFECTED BY THE DROUGHT CONDITIONS THIS
YEAR AND ARE OPERATING WITHIN NORMAL POOL LEVELS. HOWEVER…BEAR AND
LITTLE BEAR CREEKS…AND CEDAR CREEK…ARE OPERATING BELOW THEIR
GUIDE CURVES FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR. ALABAMA POWER REPORTS THAT DRY
CONDITIONS ARE HAVING AN IMPACT ON SOME LAKE LEVELS UNDER THEIR
CONTROL…INCLUDING LEWIS SMITH LAKE. THE LAKE IS OPERATING BELOW ITS
NORMAL GUIDE CURVE FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR. OF ALL THE LAKE LEVELS THAT
ARE MONITORED WITHIN THE COUNTY WARNING AREA /CWA/…TIMS FORD LAKE
IS THE ONLY SYSTEM CURRENTLY OPERATING ABOVE THE FLOOD GUIDE CURVE AS
WATER IS BEING RETAINED ON THE LAKE.

ACCORDING TO THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER…THE LATEST DAILY SOIL
MOISTURE RANKINGS AS OF NOVEMBER 9TH CONTINUE TO INDICATE ABNORMALLY
LOW SOIL MOISTURE CONDITIONS ACROSS THE AREA. SOIL MOISTURE RANKING
PERCENTILES ARE NOW AT THE 1ST PERCENTILE IN PARTS OF NORTHEASTERN
ALABAMA…AND ARE IN THE 1ST TO 5TH PERCENTILES FOR THIS TIME OF
YEAR ELSEWHERE.

THE U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY GROUNDWATER WELL SITE IN CULLMAN COUNTY
SHOWS THAT GROUNDWATER LEVELS FELL BELOW THE DAILY MEDIAN VALUE
DURING THE MARCH TO LATE APRIL PERIOD AND HAVE SINCE REMAINED BELOW
AVERAGE SINCE THAT TIME. WATER LEVELS HAVE DROPPED RAPIDLY SINCE
SEPTEMBER. GROUNDWATER LEVELS AT THE MONITORING SITE IN LAWRENCE
COUNTY HAVE DECLINED RAPIDLY AS WELL SINCE SEPTEMBER…WITH
GROUNDWATER DEPTHS NOW AROUND EIGHT FEET BELOW THE MEDIAN STATISTIC
FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR.

THE OUTLOOK FOR SOIL MOISTURE AND STREAMFLOWS IS FOR CONTINUED
DEGRADATION DUE TO THE DRY CONDITIONS EXPECTED FOR THE NEXT WEEK.
WHAT LITTLE RAINFALL THAT OCCURS ON MONDAY NIGHT OR TUESDAY WILL
LIKELY NOT PRODUCE MUCH IN THE WAY OF RUNOFF…SO STREAMFLOWS WILL
LIKELY NOT RESPOND.

NEXT ISSUANCE DATE…
THE NEXT DROUGHT STATEMENT WILL BE ISSUED MONDAY…NOVEMBER 14TH.

&&

RELATED WEB SITES…
/USE LOWER CASE/

U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR WEB PAGE…HTTP://DROUGHTMONITOR.UNL.EDU

CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER…
HTTP://WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV

FOR INFORMATION ABOUT ALABAMA DROUGHT DECLARATIONS…VISIT
HTTP://WWW.ADECA.ALABAMA.GOV/DIVISIONS/OWR/PAGES/DEFAULT.ASPX

FOR INFORMATION FROM THE ALABAMA FORESTRY COMMISSION…VISIT
HTTP://FORESTRY.ALABAMA.GOV/

WILDFIRE INFORMATION FROM THE ALABAMA FORESTRY COMMISSION…
HTTP://FORESTRY.ALABAMA.GOV/FIRE_TOTALS.ASPX?BV=1&S=4

RADAR ESTIMATED PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS CAN BE OBTAINED FROM…
HTTP://WATER.WEATHER.GOV/PRECIP

STREAMFLOWS ARE OBTAINED FROM THE USGS AT…
HTTP://WATERWATCH.USGS.GOV/INDEX.PHP

LAKE LEVELS FOR THE TENNESSEE RIVER LAKES CAN BE OBTAINED FROM
HTTP://WWW.TVA.COM/LAKEINFO/

USGS GROUNDWATER WELL SITE INFORMATION FOR ALABAMA…
HTTP://WATERDATA.USGS.GOV/AL/NWIS/CURRENT/
?TYPE=GW&GROUP_KEY=COUNTY_CD

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS…

SOME DATA USED IN THIS STATEMENT WERE PROVIDED BY THE U.S.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE…THE U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY…THE
TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY…AND THE STATES OF ALABAMA AND
TENNESSEE.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS…

FOR QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ON THE DROUGHT…CONTACT:
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE
320A SPARKMAN DRIVE
HUNTSVILLE AL 35805
PHONE: 256-890-8503
SR-HUN.WEBMASTER@NOAA.GOV

$$

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